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Surgical checklists work, and Darzi is on board. Will we see action?

In Evidence-Based Medicine on January 15, 2009 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , ,

The BBC are reporting that surgical checklists work. “Using a simple surgical checklist during major operations can cut deaths by more than 40% and complications by more than a third, research has shown.” Of course, if it’s the BBC they’ve probably got the numbers and figures and general spin of the article all wrong, but let’s hope not.

Our very own Lord Darzi, who apparently played a role in developing the checklist,  is on board: “The beauty of the surgical safety checklist is its simplicity and – as a practising surgeon – I would urge surgical teams across the country to use it. Operating theatres are high-risk environments. By using the checklist for every operation we are improving team communication, saving lives and helping ensure the highest standard of care for our patients. The amazing results from the global pilot puts this beyond any doubt.”

Now, will the NHS make them mandatory, or will it just remain a suggestion? Who would advise and regulate? Would it have to come from NICE? If so, just how many years down the line is any action likely to be?

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